I received a message from Bruce Mumper of CC Fresno. I appreciate him reaching out to me and to all who participate on this forum. I believe it is a good thing to show concern publicly for victims and to make a public statement that Truth is important.
A pastor and his elders have an enormous responsibility. They have power over people as trusted “men of God”…they profess such from the pulpit, they have a Calvary Chapel Dove hanging on their building that gives the impression they have been endorsed by Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel Movement.
There is an “implied guarantee” if you will, in my opinion (and the opinion of many others). When this “power” is handed over willy nilly, and when the “power” is not monitored properly and when there are not healthy accountability checks and balances in place, these are the kinds of things that can happen.
This eyewitness testimony illustrates what is wrong with the current system of non-accountability. This should NEVER happen, should never go un-dealt with. A pastor and elder who does these things should lose their “power”…simple as that.
“I have only lived a small part of bobs wrath…but I need to explain to you how it felt and still feels. Bob, Greg and Sue, it feels like I was raped by all of them. they took every thing from me, ripped me apart and never put me back together again. Yet when I tried to tell people what was going on, they would say it was my fault. Have you ever seen a movie where a young girl is raped and no one believes her, the pain and misery she goes through…. That is me.
The outcome of all this, is my amazing husband and his love for me, not giving up, Bob had him for a bit, But, XXXXXXXX finally “woke up” as we call it…”
My heart grieves for this woman and her family. I was an eyewitness behind the scenes as this tragic story played out. Bob Grenier and the Dowds (Calvary Chapel pastor and elder) tape-recorded the counseling sessions. I, and others, heard the tapes with our own ears. I witnessed Bob listening to the tapes over and over, taking a sick pleasure (in my opinion) from having this “power” over these people.
I was too young, too scared, too unprepared, too unequipped when it was happening to do anything about it then. Pastoral Standards are in the Bible for a reason…so are accountability measures.
“Cult” is certainly a loaded word. The title conjures powerful connotations and apprehension and should never be used lightly when describing a religious group or a religious leader.
However, when the shoe fits…it is an important word. A word of caution and a word of powerful warning.
The dictionary defines Cult this way: A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
For years, I and my brothers and others have personally witnessed many cult-like tendencies and practices employed by Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia and his close surrogates. The examples are grotesque, they turn my stomach. Following are two terrible examples and I share them so you may learn…take warning…and not allow these things to happen in your church.
“I don’t know how much Paul has told you about our family’s story (the XXXXXX) but here is the short version. My mom came to them about going to the police to turn my stepdad in for finally admitting to her that he had molested me since I was 8 years old and Bob told her to keep it quiet, never to go to the police and that the only counseling she would receive was marriage counseling and that NO ONE wanted to even hear what I had to say! When she asked if they were mandated reporters they were furious. Which is disgusting since they knew that my underage sisters were all still living in that house!
Anyway, a series of rude agressive phone calls followed (pratically threatening my mom to keep her mouth shut) and when my mom and I did go to the police, Bob called my husband and told him he needed to get me away from my mom, that she was acting crazy and it was so wrong that she was taking me to the police. On an interesting and sad side note, my husband went to Bob’s house that night and said these words to him “If you found out someone had abused your sons, wouldn’t you go straight to the police??” I guess we know now that his answer would be “No way!!”
So, we all got kicked out of Calvary and I mean literally taken aside and told not to come back!! Which I couldn’t be more grateful for now!! You can’t believe how many people have heard our story since then and said that the only reason a pastor would be so adamant that child abuse be kept a secret is if was a child abuser!!!”
Here is the recounting of another terrible story of cult-like counseling from an eyewitness:
“There was a point that Sue Dowds told me, that I was not to question her in any way. If I did I was in sin, and I needed to repent now… I just looked at her thinking She is off her rocker, Im not aloud to question her. But, of couse I didnt say anything. Just wanted to get through the moment and “survive”
I was given a list of who my friends could be….. how controlling is that.
I was also told how to dress, not allowed to show my arms. Visalia summer no tank tops”
The above examples should never happen at a Calvary Chapel..and make me righteously angry. I do not accept that this is tolerable behavior by a sitting Calvary Chapel pastor and his surrogates. I strongly encourage Pastors and Leaders in the CC Movement to unite together and denounce this sort of cult-like counseling…all stemming from the leadership of pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia.
John Higgins, the charismatic leader of the Shiloh commune in Dexter, Oregon, received this letter from his “elders”…full of Scriptural justification and the rationale behind the rebuke…and the promise to go public if he didn’t submit to Scripture.
Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia came up through Shiloh. IMO, Bob’s name would have been on this letter had he been an “elder”…I have seen Bob use Scripture to “rebuke” many others before…yet when the shoe is on the other foot (Bob’s foot)…he denies the authority of Scripture and lies and spins.
Here it is copied and pasted: You can also view it at Shilohtalk Yahoo group in the Attachment section for the date of Nov. 22, 2009.
We the co-elders of the Shiloh Ministry, find it necessary to confront you with a protest in regard to the way you have in the past, and at the present time, pastored this ministry. We find no other solution to the serious problems that exist, than to ask you to resign from your position and repent to the body ministry for the sins of lordship over the flock, mismanagement of funds, respect of persons, stubbornness, sowing discord and false teaching. The Bible gives us this power throughout the New Testament by stating in I Timothy 5:19 & 20 that we have the power to accuse you and rebuke you “before all.” We will do this if you do not receive this rebuke of the Holy Ghost.
You have established yourself as an Old Testament King with absolute power, refusing the counsel God has established. You have strayed from the scriptures in this belief, and due to your delusion of exclusive power, have meticulously sought to use unscrupulous political manuvering to force us out and to pit us against each other causing much confusion, which is not of God (I Corinthians 14:33).
We resist you in Jesus’ name, with clear conscience in Him that we are not in rebellion, but rather in obedience to God’s word being faithful to the responsibi1ity to God’s people of this ministry to protect them.
We wil1 spare you the embarrassment of exposing specific evidence of your neglect of the flock (your immediate neglect–us–as well as the rest of the body), and erratic behavior manifested in so many ways: paranoia, to financial and spiritual elevation of yourself to the point of being lord over God’s flock (I Peter 5:3).
We are not confronting you with specific incidents or occurances so that you might spare yourself the shame, but hope and pray that you will not resist God’s Spirit. We are ready, should you resist, to take all these specific details to the whole body (Luke 12:3, “proclaimed upon the housetops”). At the same time you are reading this in our presence, the people are simultaneously being notified in the houses and fellowships of our actions and feelings. They are being encouraged to support this stand.
We have anticipated your retaliation and by God have been instructed what actions to take. We warn you, that our view of your unscriptural ruling and erratic governing of this ministry is shared by many people in responsible positions, both in the houses, fellowships and staff people.
We await your repentance in response to this rebuke, and pray that God will give you the ability to humble yourself before the brethren and confess your faults. We also assure you of our love to you, which cannot be questioned because of our past 8-10 years of submission and support. Again, we are persuaded of God that we will accept no alternative but your resignation.
Jerry Frink, Larry Pilgrim, George Bryson, Kevin Sweeney, Paul Schroeder, David Stewart, Ken Ortize and Dean Camarda
“A worker is worthy of his hire”…that is a verse Bob Grenier, Pastor of Calvary Chapel Visalia, has used many times over the years to justify his compensation. He must be really worthy.
Bob receives a healthy salary and in addition, according to inside sources, he receives approximately $1,800 per month in retirement. According to my brother Paul, he estimates Bob’s retirement account over six years ago was north of $500,000 (depending on investment performance over the last six years, it is still a substantial nest egg).
Sources confirm that Bob receives the following: book allowance, housing allowance, one extra month’s paid vacation, car allowance, insurance, gas, regular cleaning of the car, gym membership, cell phone, satellite radio, suits, luggage, gifts for pastor buddies each Christmas (nice ones)…and this is not a complete list.
“Each pastor received the equivalent of one month’s salary to be used to take a vacation. This on top of the time off being paid for,” according to insiders.
One source says virtually “everything” is paid for and though Bob’s vehicle was “the church’s”…he was the only one allowed to use it…”[CCV paid for] on-star, and any and all maintenance for the vehicle. Keep in mind that as far as the board and Bob were concerned it was the church’s vehicle. But along with that he never logged mileage properly, nor could anyone else ever use it for church business.”
Clothing was among other regular CCV purchases on Bob’s behalf. Sources detailed, “Regarding travel…clothing and luggage were purchased by the church whenever Bob deemed necessary based on trips they were taking sometimes to other climates when they needed different clothes. Again this was all paid for by the church and never out of his own pocket.”
Bob has many pastor friends…and it’s no wonder. Insiders report, “At Christmas time, the church paid for nice gifts for all of his Pastor friends anywhere from eight to twelve different men. Again paid for by the church, but it was his Christmas gift to them.”
It is estimated by sources that salaries at CCV took over 50% of the annual budget. Sources also confirm that my mom and her close friend receive a salary to operate the Calvary Cafe, which operates at a deficit. According to insiders, Bob and my mom have full use of the church credit card with no approval needed. This is in addition to multiple insiders confirming $150 to $400 in “petty cash” being taken for each “ministry trip”…often jaunts to Southern California, other parts of the U.S. or around the world. Paul testifies that he has witnessed cash purchases of many “personal” items that directly and only benefited Bob and my mom and Paul in many instances. According to Paul, he was the recipient of many items purchased with “cash from the church envelope”…and specifically cites a nice pair of expensive sunglasses purchased at South Coast Plaza courtesy of the givers at Calvary Chapel Visalia.